A Brief History of Essential Oils

Posted on September 02, 2014 by Lavender World

 

Essential oils have been used since the dawn of time and for very good reason too! Essential oils were used throughout the decades for a variety of reasons, from creating medicines to making cosmetics and everything in between.

We will be covering the history of essential oils , with some interesting facts along with some of the worlds most famous people who have use essential oils in their daily lives.

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The History of Essential Oils

Our journey begins with the Egyptians who were some of the first people to use essential oils for their medicinal purposes they also used the oils extensively during the embalming process. The use of essential oils were even found in King Tutankhamun’s tomb, where jars with essential oil residue were found.

Next we travel to Greece. The Greeks took over from the Egyptians in terms of using essential oils for medicinal purposes, apparently Hippocrates (one of the most well known physicians of this time) was a firm believer of using a more holistic approach to treat his patients. Cleopatra even apparently used lavender essential oil to woo Julius Ceasar.

Now we’re off to Rome, the Romans were the founding fathers of the bath and adored the delightful scent that essential oils had. They used essential oils such as lavender in their baths to create a relaxing, anti-bacterial concoction which kept them clean and fresh.

The Dark Ages followed, where the monasteries looked after the sick by using herbs and essential oils, yet the villagers who practised aromatherapy outside of the monastery were labelled ‘witches’ and punished.

After the Roman Empire fell ( followed by the Dark Ages) the Arabian empire rose and took full advantage of their predecessors knowledge. It is said that the Persian physician Avicenna perfected the distillation process of essential oils.

There were of course a few stop offs along the way, such as the Renaissance. During this time there were a handful of renowned physicians, namely Paracelsus who despite concerns from his contemporaries used essential oils in a holistic approach to treat his patients, he also had a huge part to play in curing leprosy.
Where are we now…

The word aromatherapy was first used in 1937 by a French chemist and perfumer Rene Gattefosse. He did not believe in the ‘holistic’ approach but still had a curious interest in essential oils. His interest grew when in the early 1900’s he burnt his hand and the first thing he reached for was a jar of undiluted lavender essential oil, which immediately eased his pain and healed his hand without any infection or scarring.

Essential oils were also used during the second world war, as a result of Rene’s experiments, Dr. Valet used essential oils to treat injured soldiers with huge success.

Essential oils were widely used during the 1950’s, throughout this time essential oils evolved by being mixed with carrier oils and using them in techniques to ease people’s ailments. This was also the first time that essential oils were individually prescribed, dependent on the needs of the person being treated.

It was in the early 80’s that essential oils spread like wildfire, it was seen as a fantastic alternative to modern medicine. The popularity of essential oils hasn’t slowed down, in fact essential oils are now seen as a serious treatment for a huge amount of ailments, from hair loss, to the common cold.

 

 

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Who uses Essential Oils?

Well apart from us mere mortals there are a vast amount of famous faces that improve their mood and looks with the humble essential oil.

So, who are these famous faces? Well from supermodels to A* actresses, everyone is going essential oil mad and for very good reason too. We don’t like to name drop but the following stars are all huge fans of essential oils and credit these miracle oils to their glowing, dewy skin.

Kerry Washington
Olivia Wilde
Gisele Bundchen
Demi Moore
Jennifer Lopez
Miranda Kerr
Gwyneth Paltrow

The famous designer Donna Karen even pops some essential on her models when they take to the catwalk as it calms them and ensures that they give a flawless performance when strutting their stuff.

These top stars use a mixture of oils with Peppermint, Rosemary and Ylang Ylang being some of their favourite blends. It is rumoured that Demi Moore credits grapefruit essential oil for giving her flawless skin.

Whether you’re a supermodel or not doesn’t dispute the properties that these essential oils have and how much they can improve your life.

 

Why Use Essential Oils?

Well, aside from the endless uses and benefits that essential oils have they also smell incredible too.

So, whether you’re suffering with bad skin or maybe your home could do with some Spring cleaning, whatever the reason essential oils can help you, your family and your home.

 

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